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ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS

Drug hope for gas poisoning

Tuesday August 7th, 2012

An anti-angina drug could provide a treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning, French and British researchers revealed yesterday.

Poisoning by the silent gas is a hazard for people with open gas fires - and is also sometimes used as a method of suicide.

But some people believe thousands of others, such as firefighters, suffer heart problems caused by regular exposure to low-levels of the gas.

The new findings suggest the drug, ranolazine, can provide protection for the heart during treatment - and also provides long-term protection.

The gas affects the heart-beat, potentially causing cardiac arrest.

Now laboratory research at Leeds University, UK, suggests ranolazine might be the right drug to tackle this problem. And tests on laboratory rats in France at the Universities of Montpellier and Avignon suggest the drug successfully reduces the development of arrhythmia <!irregular heart beat>.

Researcher Professor Chris Peers said: ""The next step will be to replicate these findings in human trials. As the drug has been clinically approved, roll out of this treatment could begin soon after we have these results.

"We've shown that ranolazine can rapidly protect the heart and prevent the kind of cardiac events which threaten patients long after their exposure to the gas."

Dr Hélène Wilson, of the British Heart Foundation, said: "Carbon monoxide poisoning is tragically common but hopefully these promising results can be replicated in people so that it saves lives in the future."

American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine July 19, 2012; doi: 10.1164/rccm.201204-0688OC

Tags: A&E | Europe | Heart Health | Pharmaceuticals | UK News

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